Claude’s River Survey: August 6, 2011

Location: Austin Colony to Weberville

Observation date: 8/6/2011

Number of species: 48

EPISODE 63: A Tale of Two Ecosystems

What a contrast between the lush green of the riparian and the brownness of the drought. One comment I heard was in reference to the Elephant Ears and how healthy they looked. They are getting plenty of water and very green while the native grasses on the edges of the river are brown and dormant. I have included a couple of photos to help illustrate this effect.

Leading the list of our good bird sightings would have to be the Anhingas. One spent some time soaring overhead and everyone got good looks in the morning sun. Other species of interest were Barred Owl, Green Kingfisher, Greater Roadrunner, Tricolored Heron, and Orchard Orioles.

In all we had 48 species. This is a really good list for us this time of year.

Today we thank Joan bishop, Cora Shinaberry, Roni Kendall, Michael Portman, Bob West, and John Barr for braving the heat to paddle with us.

(Click any image to view larger. First four photos by Bob West. Bottom row by Claude Morris.)
Close-up photo of a yellow flower.Wide shot of four kayakers paddling the river with trees behind.Action shot of a woman paddling a kayak, with people in a canoe behind.Photo of a man in a kayak looking down, with a kayaker in the background him holding up a hat in greeting.Landscape photo of a river with bright green plants on the bank and brown grass beyond.Landscape photo showing a river with dry, brown banks and bright green trees behind.Landscape photo of a river with overhanging trees.Close-up of a cluster of grass seeds.

Number of species: 44 (plus 3 other taxa)

Wood Duck 3
Double-crested Cormorant 4
Anhinga 2
Great Blue Heron 6
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 5
Little Blue Heron 8
Tricolored Heron 1
Green Heron 32 Lots of juveniles. Last month we had a big number too.
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 1
Black Vulture 24
Turkey Vulture 18
Red-shouldered Hawk 5
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Crested Caracara 3
Killdeer 1
Spotted Sandpiper 9
Eurasian Collared-Dove 1
White-winged Dove 24
Mourning Dove 8
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2
Greater Roadrunner 1
Barred Owl 1
Belted Kingfisher 5

Green Kingfisher 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 14
Downy Woodpecker 2
Eastern Phoebe 4
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Western Kingbird 3
Eastern Kingbird 4
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 4
White-eyed Vireo 32
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 15
Purple Martin 3
Barn Swallow 5
Cliff Swallow 28
Carolina Chickadee 34
Carolina Wren 17
Northern Mockingbird 6
Northern Cardinal 44
Indigo Bunting 1
Painted Bunting 5
Red-winged Blackbird 18
Great-tailed Grackle 5
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
Orchard Oriole 3